Marion County ERISA Lawyer
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) plays a crucial role in protecting the benefits a worker negotiates with their employer. When an employer or their insurance company denies a disability claim, ERISA governs the appeals process. This process can seem archaic without the help of a Marion County ERISA lawyer.
It is vital to proceed carefully with an ERISA claim. Even a minor error could lead to a lengthy appeals process that is not guaranteed to be successful. Working with a skilled personal injury attorney could help offset some of the risks associated with the ERISA process.
Understanding ERISA Claims
The basic goals of ERISA are to facilitate disputes regarding disability claims and regulate retirement and health care benefits in general. This Act applies to private-sector jobs and establishes important rights for workers. The Act does not apply to anyone working in the public sector, some foreign workers, or certain religious institutions. ERISA:
- Determines the standards for when benefits accrue and vest
- Provides employees with the right to sue over denied benefits
- Requires payment of benefits upon plan termination
- Mandates due process for grievances and appeals
Despite these rights, disputes over employment benefits are common. Anyone who believes they have been mistreated regarding their disability claim might benefit from a discussion with a Marion County ERISA attorney.
The Appeals Process
Although ERISA grants workers the right to file a lawsuit regarding their denied claims, the law requires that they first exhaust all administrative remedies. A Marion County ERISA attorney could help a worker during both the administrative and litigation phases.
Administrative appeals are heard by the employer’s insurance company. While ERISA requires that they offer a system for grievances and appeals, it gives the insurance company some leeway in creating them. Each company will approach this process differently. While some insurers will offer a single hearing to address an appeal, others use a lengthy process that could span multiple sessions.
If an employee is not happy with the outcome of the appeal, they have the right to file a federal lawsuit over their ERISA claim. What happens during the administrative review process could play an essential role in any lawsuit. Many federal suits will only consider evidence raised during the administrative appeal, making it crucial to put on the best case possible.
After an appeal, filing a lawsuit in federal court could be a worker’s last chance to overturn a denied claim. These lawsuits differ from most civil trials, as many cases are decided entirely on the written record of the administrative appeal.
The courts in these cases do have some leeway, and they may seek additional evidence under certain conditions. This could include written documentation or even live testimony. Every federal ERISA lawsuit is different, and it could be difficult to predict an outcome. The right attorney could help a Marion County resident get the most out of their ERISA claim.
Call a Marion County ERISA Attorney Right Away
If you are considering an appeal of your benefits denial, consider discussing your case with an attorney. The evidence you present during the administrative hearing could make or break your case, which makes moving forward without an attorney risky.
A Marion County ERISA lawyer could work with you to file an initial claim or appeal a denial. Call today to learn how a legal professional could help in your case.